(CNN) -- Grigor Dimitrov backed up his undoubted talent with a gutsy display to beat South Africa's Kevin Anderson in a three-hour final at the ATP Tour event in Mexico.
The 22-year-old Bulgarian prevailed 7-6 3-6 7-6 in a match which finished at 1.13 am local time Sunday as Dimitrov took full advantage of his first match point.
His girlfriend Maria Sharapova tweeted "Inspired!" after Dimitrov wrapped up his hard-fought victory in a match which contained just one break of service on the fast blue hard courts in Acapulco.
Dimitrov, who is now coached by Roger Rasheed, will rise to a projected 16th in the new world rankings with his reputation enhanced by a semifinal victory over Britain's Andy Murray.
That marathon three-setter ended in the early hours of Saturday morning and it left Dimitrov with concerns about his physical condition heading into the title match with the big-serving Anderson.
"Belief is the only thing that kept me going today," Dimitrov told the official ATP Tour website.
"I didn't think I was going to come back after last night's match. I'm really happy. This title means a lot to me. "Every match I played was really tough, especially the last three where I played three sets."
He took the opener by emphatically winning the opening tiebreaker 7-1, but Anderson hit back with a break of service in the second to force a decider.
That proved equally close until Anderson hit a backhand long at 5-5 and Dimitrov closed out the match on the next point.
It was the second ATP title for Dimitrov, who has had to live up to the tag "Baby Federer" because of perceived similarities in his style of play with the 17-time grand slam champion.
Dimitrov is reported to have joined the management group which Federer and his agent Roger Godsick are setting up to represent a small group of elite players.
'Team Federer" has certainly enjoyed a successful weekend with the Swiss maestro claiming his sixth Dubai title earlier Saturday with victory over Tomas Berdych.
Both of the weekend winners will head to the Masters 1000 event in Indian Wells, California where Dimitrov is set to be a dangerous outsider based on his performances in Mexico.
In the WTA tournament in Acapulco, Australian Open finalist Dominika Cibulkova beat Christina McHale 7-6 4-6 6-4.
It was the fourth career crown for the Slovakian top seed, who lost to China's Li Na in the final of the opening grand slam of the season.